TULIP Consulting is excited to share a recent Report, Commissioned by OVAM, the Public Waste Agency of Flanders, examining the opportunities and challenges associated with developing an international agreement no natural resource management.
There is a strong case to be made for an international agreement on natural resource management. Global use of natural resources – stocks of materials that exist in natural environment including land, water, air and materials – has increased dramatically over the last half century: between 1970 and 2017, the annual global extraction of materials has more than tripled– rising from 27 billion tons to 92 billion tons. This increase reflects a doubling of population growth and rising standards of living, resulting in an increase in global resource consumption. This has led to a fourfold growth in global economic activity since 1970s, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Today, different actors, including governments, businesses, and international organizations, are increasingly adopting measures that aim to reduce unsustainable resource consumption. These efforts, while important, are mostly uncoordinated and fragmented. What is lacking is a governance mechanism that addresses the unsustainable and linear use of natural resources at a global level, in a coordinated way and, thus, mitigating further countries’ concerns of losing international competitiveness by acting unilaterally. Acknowledging this gap, there is increased interest to explore the possibility of developing an international agreement on the management of natural resources.
This report seeks to contribute to exploratory conversations on developing an international agreement on natural resource management. It finds that developing an international agreement on natural resource management would fill an important gap in existing trade and environment treaties and initiatives and could be critical in reducing overexploitation of resources in the decades to come. It could galvanize coordinated action at a global scale, which would be important to avoid-free riding and to ensure global levels of material consumption remain within planetary boundaries. This report further finds that adopting a gradual approach to an international agreement on resource management would be the preferred course of action.
The full Report can be read here: